ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Friday reiterated his commitment to hold fair, free and impartial elections and said that only democracy could ensure a stable Pakistan, adding that the PPP would go to the people’s court and only the people’s decision would prevail.
Addressing a function of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to distribute financial assistance to deserving people, the PM said the PPP believed in the power of masses and had always come to power through the power of the vote. “Holding fair, free and impartial elections is the only aim of the government for which it has been taking all possible steps. The appointment of a unanimously-acceptable chief election commissioner is the first step in this direction,” he maintained.
“No one should have any doubts that the PPP knows its way,” the PM said, adding that while governments did not last forever, Pakistan was here to stay. He said politicians should present themselves before the court of the masses who should have the final authority to elect anyone to rule the country.
PM Raja said the BISP had been providing help and financial assistance to the deserving purely on merit and bereft of political affiliations. “The welfare programme of BISP is above politics and the deserving are being provided assistance on the basis of merit alone, which has also been recognised at the international level,” he added.
He said the Benazir Income Support Programme had become a role model for the rest of the world as many countries had approached the BISP to start similar projects. Appreciating the dedication, commitment and impartial dealing of the staff of the BISP headed by Farzana Raja, he said it had become one of the most successful programmes initiated by the government.
He said the vision and philosophy behind the BISP was to help those living below the poverty line and help them stand on their feet by starting small projects of their own. He said it is Almighty Allah who had promised to give food to every individual but the BISP had become a mode to fulfill the promise of the God and providing food and basic needs to the deserving. He said the programme initiated in the name of Benazir Bhutto, was aimed at fulfilling the needs of abjectly poor. “I can say that the BISP is a fair and judicious programme to help the needy,” he added.
The PM, who came to the function after presiding over a meeting on Balochistan, said resolving the problems of Balochistan was the top priority of his government. “Balochistan is the future of Pakistan and finding a resolution to this province is the most important factor for the government,” he added. He said over 50 percent population from Balochistan was benefitting from the BISP. He said similarly, over one million people benefited from the BISP in Fata, adding that after the completion of poverty survey in September this year, this number will be increased.
He said the BISP was one of the successful programmes of the country and it should be projected properly through the media as a soft image of the country because the merit based policies of the BISP had been recognized all over the world. He said more than six million families benefited from the BISP that included cash grant, insurance, Waseela-e-Sehhat, education and other basic needs of life. He said a new programme of providing education to over three million students will be started by the BISP with the help of Britain and other countries.
Earlier, the Chairperson of Benazir Income Support Programme Farzana Raja, speaking on the occasion, said that by imparting vocational and technical training, the BISP was helping the poor families to push their way out of the poverty trap.
Later, the PM distributed certificate of Waseela-e-Rozgar, life insurance certificates and Benazir Debt Card among the selected groups of deserving people.